15 March 2022

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Bouwinvest’s Dutch Retail Fund has acquired 16 retail units from DELA Vastgoed. The stores are located on the Lijnbaan in Rotterdam and are part of a mixed-use complex in the popular city centre. Bouwinvest has drawn up a roadmap to optimise both the sustainability and accessibility of the complex with a view to creating an optimal living, working, and recreational experience for the growing inner-city population.

The largest retail tenants located on Lijnbaan – and the adjacent Van Oldenbarneveltplaats – are Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn, John Reed Fitness Centre, and clothing store ONLY. Other tenants include Levi’s Jeans, Intertoys, pharmacy group Etos, and liquor store Gall & Gall. In total the transaction comprises a total retail area of 9,300 m2, including around 6,600 m2 of floor space on the ground floor, according to Barbara Sleijffers, Acquisitions Manager at Bouwinvest. “Such a large surface area in the middle of Rotterdam is quite unusual. Albert Heijn has a very large store on the Lijnbaan, which is unique in the city centre."

Bouwinvest’s Retail Fund invests in the Dutch retail market on behalf of local pension funds. The vehicle has a diverse portfolio spread across the best shopping cities and busiest retail hotspots, as well as supermarket-anchored convenience centres. "This acquisition fits well into our real estate strategy," said Collin Boelhouwer, Director of Dutch Retail Investments. "For years, we have seen an increasing polarisation between the performance of large and small cities. Retailers and consumers are both gravitating towards the largest cities, because they are more successful in combining retail and experience." Rotterdam ranks among one of the best shopping cities in the Netherlands thanks to popular retail hotspots such as the Lijnbaan.

The expected population growth of the area will ensure that the acquisition will remain profitable in the long term, Barbara Sleijffers added. "The number of residents living in the inner-city centre is forecast to grow by 13 percent through to 2035. We are working on a development plan for this shopping precinct, and together with other active landlords aim to improve its overall quality. This will make the area more livable while maintaining its broader appeal for shopping and working. In that way this property will help us achieve our goal of offering real value for life."

Watch the video in which Barbara elaborates about our plans in Rotterdam:

The sustainability credentials of the retail complex are not yet fully aligned with Bouwinvest’s own high standards which is why the units that do not yet possess a BREEAM GOOD label and/or the highest possible energy label in the Netherlands (A) will be prioritised for an action programme, Barbara Sleijffers said: "We will take measures such as installing LED lighting and and possibly also solar panels as well as organising water-conservation campaigns. To do more, we need to cooperate with our tenants so we will get to know them in the coming period and try to inspire them to make their operations more sustainable."

Bouwinvest was able to build a good relationship with DELA during the sales process which has benefits for both parties, she added.  "For the time being we'll also remain connected through the landlords’ association since DELA still has office premises there."

Bouwinvest received commercial advice from City Real Estate while Loyens & Loeff acted as legal advisor and Sweco provided technical support. The seller was advised by CBRE (commercial), Houthoff (legal) and Drees & Sommer (technical).